During this time of unprecedented crisis, we know many of our municipal and local government leaders are working tirelessly to “protect the health and safety of residents and to provide reassurance in times of crisis.” If there’s one thing we’ve learned from working with local elected officials for more than 15 years, it’s that they are steadfastly committed to making life better in their communities.
Both the National League of Cities (NLC) and the ICMA have published curated resources and guidance on issues surrounding local preparedness. Everyone agrees that communication is key during times of crisis.
We know that it may be some time before local life returns to a sense of normalcy, and when it does, the private and public sectors will need to continue to come together to support each other. Smart city technology can help.
But what exactly is a smart city?
As CityLab acknowledged, “no one seems able to agree on what a smart city actually is.” Are they “the intersection of digital technology, disruptive innovation and urban environments”? Or “a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies”?
They can be any or all of these things, but they are not limited to large-scale, multi-million-dollar implementations. And it’s not just about the technology. It’s about finding ways to increase connection.
Many cities have implemented or are considering implementing various technology options to help communicate with and engage residents more effectively – and inclusively. The CityFront app is designed to provide an engagement vehicle quickly – our zero code platform allows us to build custom mobile, web and even smartTV applications in weeks and months instead of months and years. The app’s artificially intelligent framework enables our engineers to quickly interface and potentially integrate all of the city’s legacy systems to create a unified view of their data, while providing other valuable features.
One valuable feature of the CityFront app that many cities are finding beneficial is real time video and voice interpretation service. This feature supports translation of 220+ languages and dialects with interpreters worldwide – Including American Sign Language (ASL). This module is available as a stand-alone service as well and requires zero upfront resources to get started. Mobile devices can be distributed amongst first responders and other city departments where interpreters are likely to be needed.
“City leadership is looking to operate an equitable agenda and inclusive policy. Smart technology that allows real-time communication in a variety of languages serves otherwise underserved populations, allowing them to more fully participate in civic engagement,” said Steve Denney, CityFront Innovations co-founder and CTO.
Smaller cities may be left behind during this smart technology revolution as they lack the technical staff and expertise to implement important solutions, but these technologies can play an important role in their economic development. For example, real time access to parking information can increase traffic to developing neighborhoods and downtown locations, drawing new visitors to these areas. The CityFront app’s Smarter Parking technology can deliver this access seamlessly and affordably. The app provides users with the real-time location of available parking - whether it be around the community square, ancillary parking lots, or in a parking garage.
And intelligent 311 allows the automated reporting of issues via a smart device armed with the CityFront app, freeing staff to engage in more valuable tasks while reducing resident frustration with reporting.
Smart city technology and smart city apps; when used properly, technology is the tool that can bring everyone together. When you’re ready, CityFront Innovations will be here.
CityFront partners with cities, municipalities and community organizations to deliver the first smart city integration platform, powering an artificially intelligent (AI) citizen engagement mobile app that enables citizens to engage with the city intuitively and intelligently. At CityFront we believe being a smart community is not about technology. It’s about how lives are made better. For everyone.